So, I've been thinking about this for the last day and a half, once I could mull it over without wanting to burst into tears, and I figured the best way of doing this was to just write it out as best as I can remember it, follow it with some of the ideas I've heard floated about why what happened happened, and allow you to draw your own conclusions. And hey - if you come up with any startling new conclusions that make more sense of it than anything I've got here, please feel free to let me know.
So, Friday night, in Boston, I showed up with two of my friends at the Irish pub where Glow Boy and I had made plans to meet. He had written me previously, asking if I wanted to meet some of the other people I know through the game, and I said yes (as you may recall from my joyful "He wants me to meet his friends!" post). Last I knew, it would be him and about six or seven others. We joked about his posse outnumbering my own. When my girls and I arrived at the bar, the hostess had a reservation for 10 people, of which we were the first there. We took a seat at the bar, ordered the first of many ciders, and waited.
When the first people from Glow Boy's posse arrived, I knew it was them. One sported a Terry Pratchett-esque hat. (No links, sorry. I'm not in the mood.) They were about what I expected. But no Glow Boy. I suggested waiting at the bar until we were all there, but they wanted to sit, so we did. Shortly afterwards, the next part of Glow Boy's posse arrived, with the Boy himself. And we knew we weren't going to fit at the table where we'd been placed, so moved to a back room where there was more space.
And I met Glow Boy. Who didn't come up to me separately, or make any sort of special greetings, just sat down at one end of the table with his friends all around, while my friends and I sat in the middle of this group of strangers, making conversation.
They played guessing games with me, and I eventually put all the characters' names to the faces around me, even as I forgot half of the real names of the people sitting around me. But every once in a while I'd smile at Glow Boy, and feel a little more excited about this all. And his friends were nice, if far from suave, cool, New Yorkers. Rennies, if I'm being honest, and those of you who know the term know immediately the type of person I'm describing. But if I can steal M's analogy, Glow Boy was the Marilyn of their group. The odd pretty person (relatively) in a Munsters sitcom world. And me? Well, my friends tell me I was looking pretty swell, outclassing those around me. Whatever. I leave that for others to judge - I'm not trying to fish for compliments here.
Anyway, there was much conversation, and laughter, and people getting along, and seat-swapping, so that at a couple of points I was sitting closer to Glow Boy, which was nice. Eventually, we sorted out the bill, and most of us decided to stay for another drink. We moved from the table in the back room to the front of the bar, where my girls had moved earlier when Schmoopie and her Boston friends had arrived. I stood with Glow Boy and his friends, continuing our conversations, now standing shoulder to shoulder with him, occasionally trying to be couth about letting my hand dangle conveniently near his, or making some slight physical contact.
More time passed. Schmoopie and her friends left, and my girls decided to give me a little more space, and moved to a bar down the street. Shortly thereafter, Glow Boy and his friends decided they were leaving, and he took me aside, placed his arm around my shoulder, and crushed my hopes and dreams.
No, sorry, I said I would be all facts. He said that he was drunk, and they had a twenty minute or mile drive ahead of them, and his friend had his keys and was going to drive them home. And what was I thinking? "Well," I think I said, "I'm in Boston." (Basically, imagine me here throwing myself at him.) So then he said he had to get up early, and get a lot of stuff done early in the morning, and... gah, this is where I wish I had a phonographic memory. I don't know if I'm remembering what he said, what I thought he said, what other people have thought he meant, or what. But the gist of the conversation had me offering myself, and him saying no, using the few words I do remember, "I'm a whore." About himself, not me. Which I don't really understand.
So then he left, and I said goodbye to his few friends that stayed a little longer, and went off to find my girls and have a complete and utter emotional breakdown on Massachusetts Avenue.
So... possible conclusions. My girls think that he was scared, or overwhelmed, and brought a too-huge group of people with him in order to throw up a buffer zone, which he then had to deal with. There's also the theory that he was doing something nice, knowing he was drunk, and didn't have a hell of a lot of time before his plans the next day, and didn't want to have a rushed just-sex encounter. And clearly didn't get my way-too-obvious signals that maybe that would be fine. Friends with Benefits, I think the term is. My awesome roommate goes with the boys are shy theory, and maybe I scared him. Schmoopie thinks I should put myself out there more, and that I am so completely too good for him, and I need to find someone more appropriate for the swellness of me.
But maybe I'm not too good. The things these geeks were all about - they have a lot of that stuff in common with me. Ren faires and computer gaming, roleplaying and pop culture obsessions... hell, that is me. Or, at least, a part of me. So I think I fit in there. And yes, maybe ok I was floating on top of the pretty pool in their social circle, but what does that say about me that then I was rejected?
Well, not completely rejected. The girls seemed to like me, and gave me their cards to keep in touch. I always do manage to pick up the best women.
And maybe not rejected by Glow Boy either. I don't know. Maybe the timing just wasn't right. Maybe our next meeting will go smoother, if there is one. I want there to be another, I think. I mean, I don't want things to change now. I don't want to lose our email correspondence, and the little thrill I get when I get a message from him, and the interactions my character has with his character online in the game. At the same time, yeah, I want more. I'd love a "real" boyfriend. And I'm not going to whine here about why I don't have one, why I've never really managed to have one, and wonder just what the hell is so wrong with me, and what I'm doing wrong.
We had a couple of brief innocuous text exchanges on Saturday that came to nothing, and I'm sitting here now thinking about sending him another note. I don't want to play games, wait for him to make the next move. I was forbidden from apologizing to him for anything, told he should apologize instead. But sometimes I'm not even sure he has to.
Was this all just me putting so much more on a simple internet friendship? He warned me he has issues, and I ignored him, or said it was all cool, and played like I could handle it. Everyone has issues. Mine, apparently, is that I'm going to be alone forever, or at least until I can learn how to play this game. And the rules aren't written anywhere that I can find, and there's no macros to create that allow you to flirt and fight and fly at the same time. And the chat room is a hazardous place in which to lurk. And I've whipped this metaphor completely out of shape.
So that's it, as much as I'm able to put into words. Comments? I'm not going to promise I'll respond, but I'd welcome all your thoughts. I know I'm extremely lucky in my friends, if nothing else. And one of these days, I'll stop thinking that every song lyric I hear is applicable to me and my situation.
I was drowning my sorrows, but my sorrows, they learned to swim.